Mick KitorOutsourced Affiliate & Partner Manager
Bio

Have questions about starting or improving an affiliate/partner program? I can help. "Mick is an excellent eMarketer and Online Sales expert. He has exceeded his Affiliate Sales targets consistently and managed the highest growth online vehicle for the 2 years I have worked with him in the eCommerce business unit." Margaret Plucinska VP of Business Operations Corel Corporation



Recent Answers


I worked for an Email Service Provider for four years. There is a big difference between sending an email and having it get past the spam filter and inboxed.

Just like location is key in real-estate, deliverability is the key when it comes to email marketing.

If the prospect never sees the email - does it matter how cheaply it was sent?

I'd suggest a split test sending a segment of your via multiple senders, and then measuring unique opens & click-thrus.

If it is a purchased list - you'll want to scrub it to make sure your deliverability doesn't tank overnight if you send to a spam trap.

I'd suggest using 2 services at a minimum. 1 Service to send to cold email addresses, and when someone opens or clicks on a link transfer that email to the 2nd service. You may need to replace service 1 frequently if deliverability drops.

That will keep the openers and clickers from getting nuked when if you have a spam trap on your purchased list.


To answer this question you'll need to know the lifetime value of an affiliate that joins your program. Once you calculate the value then you'll be able to determine what you can afford to pay.

I would also look at qualifying what constitutes a valid referral to your affiliate program. The lifetime value of the average affiliate who joins your program is of little value compared to the lifetime value of an affiliate who joins and driving traffic in the first 30 days. Or better yet sales in the first 30 days.

When you calculate the lifetime value of :
An affiliate eho drives traffic in the first 30 days or;
An affiliate who drives sales in the first 30 days you will find that the value is significantly higher (so you can pay more for these referrals)

I would not pay for just joining the program. Up to 90% of these sign ups may not drive traffic. Another concern is that some affiliates may incentivize sign ups, for commission, so you will want to specifically prohibit incentivized traffic.

Keep your criteria for a valid sign up ( # of clicks or # of sales) confidential so affiliates do not exploit the system.

Hope this helps.

Mick


This question could be asking two questions. How do you scrape a b2b email marketing list, or how do I find a one of email address for a targeted email.

With regards to scraping a list, this is fraught with the possibility of killing your deliverability. It is so easy to add a spam trap. It might me much easier to have people mail on your behalf with a call to action on a squeeze page to join your list.

If you are looking for targeted names for sales people to email one on one I find hunter.io a very useful too.

Goodluck.

Mick


There will not be one optimal size. Each affiliate will have their own needs.

Here is a list of the common sizes: http://designerstoolbox.com/designresources/banners/

I find it most helpful to send out a survey monkey poll to affiliates directly. I'd also ask your top affiliates directly. Don't rely on stats from the network panel, as many affiliates will strip off the banner and use the URL for a text link, which will skew the reporting.

Once you decide on the best sizes for your affiliates. Change your banners at least once a quarter. Ideally, create themed banners for each holiday. Changing banners frequently will drive more clicks and sales.


I've seen SaaS companies pay 20-30% recurring lifetime commission for simply referring a paying customer.

If they are going to be attending trade shows, providing localized Clinical & Technical support it sounds almost too good. I'd be concerned that they have enough margin to actively promote and support your product.

I'd also want to set sales targets in any reseller agreement to give yourselves the ability to terminate weak performers.

Happy to jump on a call to discuss.


A reseller typically purchases the SaaS at a discounted price and bill their client directly.

I've seen reseller discounts range between 10% and 50%. The discount should be competitive with your industry, and allow a reasonable ROI for resellers. The reseller discount is typically for the life of the user otherwise expect resellers to offer their clients a competitor's SaaS.

An affiliate or partner program that pays a commission for referring clients creates a direct relationship between your company and the users. In these types of programs, your commission could be a one-time payout upon referral, a recurring % of sale for the first year, or a recurring % of sale for the life of the client.


Podcaster/bloggers are less interested in commission than maintaining their relationship with their audience.

I've found that approaching bloggers with an opportunity for early access, prizes for giveaways, free product to review is far more effective as an icebreaker.

Once they have a review or podcast then you can have a conversation on how they can monetize it via affiliate links.

Additionally email may be the wrong venue to approach them, your email could be getting lost in the noise if they are getting a ton of unsolicited emails daily.

If the opportunity is big enough send a small gift to get their attention. Stand apart from the crowd.

Hope this helps.

Mick


Have your considered a partner/reseller/affiliate program?

Unlike direct sales force that require a high upfront labour cost, partner programs are highly scalable as partners only earn commission when a sale is generated.

I'd advise that your company be as partner friendly as possible. Commission is rarely the primary motivator for partners who earn the majority of their income offering their own services to your potential clients. If your company is hard to do business with, or the user experience tarnishes your partner's reputation they will stop sending new clients your way.

Cheers,

Mick


Assuming each sales person is carrying a $1,000,000 quota then that works out to 2084 new users per year.

That translates to an annual bonus of $125K USD on target earnings.

If you are looking to motivate more sales, then I would suggest a sliding bonus structure that increases as reps sell more. I would also include a mechanism to prevent sales reps from sandbagging (defering deals for higher bonus).

Assuming a monthly quota of 175 new users acquired per month.

Example:

175 or less new users per month = 30% of value of first five months value

If attained quota from previous month (over 175 new users):
0 to 175 new users earn bonus of 30% of value of first five months value
175 to 350 new users earn bonus of 45% of value of first five months value
350+ new users earn bonus of 60% of value of first five months value.

I would also not underestimate the competitiveness of sales people. Run sales contest for your reps, and give the top rep for the previous month perks for winning. It could be as simple as a prime parking spot, or gift certificate for dinner.

Have you considered a reseller/partner program/affiliate program? These programs are typically commission only and are very scalable as they do not require the same labor costs as a direct sales force.

I've had great success growing international partner programs & affiliate programs for various SaaS companies.

Cheers,

Mick Kitor


Someone who purchases a perpetual license at such a low cost is likely to balk at being forced into a SaaS model.

Split test two licensing models and compare the conversion rate for a SaaS model vs Perpetual license.
Test different variables, price, subscription duration.

You might consider moving from a license per computer to a per user license as this is the very common type of Saas licensing model.

Once you have a data that backs up a move to a SaaS model, then simply discontinue offering the perpetual license. As your old customers use up their license key resets transition them to the SaaS model.

You will definitely need to include free software upgrades in the SaaS model and limiting the number of key resets would generate canceled subscriptions.


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